Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: The Queen's Lady

The Queen's Lady by Eve Edwards
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA historical fiction
$17.99 (US hardback)
336 pages

What it's about:

England, 1584.

When beautiful Lady Jane Rievaulx begins her service to the Queen at Richmond Palace, she is thrilled to see the court's newest arrival . . . Master James Lacey.

No matter that Jane was previously courted by the eldest Lacey brother—James is the one who has won her heart. For his part, James cannot deny his fascination with Jane; his plans, however, do not allow for love. He is about to set sail on a treacherous journey to the Americas, seeking absolution for what he sees as past sins. But when Jane is forced into a terrible situation by her own family, only one man can save her. Will Master James return to his lady before it's too late?

My thoughts:

I read the first book in this series, The Other Countess, about a week before reading The Queen's Lady. One of the comments I made about that book is how it didn't feel like it was set in the Elizabethan era. Normally when I think of living in that time and living in the court, I think of it as terrifying. There are spies everywhere, you can be put in the tower, or worse, killed, for hardly any reason at all. Pissing off the queen seems an easy task, and all the other things that go along with that. I can not say it is true for this book. TQL does a great job with showing how much it would suck to live in that time. How women are treated as property and bargaining trades.

This is the story of Lady Jane, aka the lady who was supposed to marry Will in the first book. Now we get to see hers and James' story. I absolutely love Jane. She sticks up for herself! That is incredibly brave of her, especially in this time. She makes decisions to help her friends rather than to help herself. She doesn't let people belittle her, and she is smart. I freaking love her character. Then there is James. He is a fun guy. Always witty and charming. Very likable. We are also introduced to loads of new characters that are also very entertaining and will be showing up in book #3.

I can honestly say that I liked this book much better than the first, though I did love that one as well. The characters are ones you want to root for and become attached to, the drama is intense, and the historical setting is interesting. I'm normally not big into historical books, but I love this series.

My rating: 9/10

Monday, May 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday- favorite non book related sites

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely girls over at The Broke and the Bookish

This weeks topic is my favorite blogs/sites that are not book related. I don't think I have 10 sites I go to that aren't book related sadly. I do not spend a lot of time online when it's not book/facebook related.

1. Facebook:
This is a big 'no duh' but still. I spend a lot of time on here. More than I should

This site is so handy. I'm one of those type of people when I'm watching a tv show or movie and I recognize an actor but can't place where else I've seen them, I have to look it up and know otherwise it will keep bugging me. IMDB is great for that.

3. Hyperbole and a Half:
This blog is so freaking funny! Allie is hysterical and when I first read the post she did about moving to Oregon and how her dogs acted, I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face and a stitch in my side. My parents thought I was going crazy. Good times.

4. Cute Overload:
This site is exactly what the name says it is. Adorable pictures/videos of animals. How can you not love it?

5. 1,000 Awesome Things:
A while back, a guy decided that every day for a thousand days, he was going to post about little things that make you smile and are all around awesome. He's recently finished and there are two books out for it as well. The things this guy comes up with are great. Just go and read the list of things he's posted about and laugh.
Here is my personal favorite:

6. Youtube:
I'm a huge Youtube junkie. I love love love following vloggers. My favorites being John and Hank Green (Vlogbrothers), Charlie McDonnell (Charlieissocoollike), Dan Howell (Danisnotonfire), and Phil Lester (AmazingPhil). I've pretty much watched all their videos...multiple times... and get excited when any of them post new videos. Oh! And I love John and Hank's new videos, CrashCourse in which John teaches you about world history and Hank about science. I've learned more from them than I have in all my years I spent in school. Sad really.

7. Google:
Come on, you know you love it too and probably didn't think to count this as a site, but it is. This site is so cool that it has now become a noun, a verb, an adjective,  and all those other lovely English grammar words.

8. Hotmail:
Yup, I'm putting down my email provider has a favorite site. I check my email non stop.

9. Etsy:
I think this is by far one of the coolest sites ever. You can pretty much find anything you want on it. I personally love searching Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Hunger Games, and Mortal Instruments on that site and seeing all the super cool and nerdy fan stuff people have created. It's amazing.

10. Snorgtees:
This site has the coolest shirts ever! So many nerdy shirts! I pretty much want them all. I'm a screen Tee junkie. It's fun to go on there and see if you understand all the references the shirts are making. Like all the Doctor Who ones! Yeah!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions-- Memes

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that posts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, where book bloggers "confess" and vent about topics that are unique to us. Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions. BBC is hosted by For What It's Worth

 Question for Monday May 21st:

Memes. Love em or hate em? How many do you participate in? Which kinds do you like best? Do you feel like there are too many?

I personally love memes. I've noticed that on almost all blogs that the posts with the most comments and activities are the meme posts. I think that when people have a set date and a set topic, people are more likely to post and to make it entertaining. It can be hard to come up with ideas on what to post about and to make it interesting enough to get people to stop and read it. But when you have something like "Top Ten Tuesday" in your header, readers are more likely to stop and take a look.

I participate in Top Ten Tuesdays and My Book Boyfriend. That is normally it and now I'm also doing this one. I love TTT because it has me thinking about past books I've read, or quotes I love, or my personal favorite I think was the pick a theme song for books post. It really had me thinking and I loved seeing the songs people thought fit books. It said a lot about the reader and the books all at once. MBB is also great because that is a smaller meme and it's almost always the same people posting each week. There is just something about small memes that are more fun. Plus this meme is full of hott guys. What's not to love about that? I love seeing people take an idea or topic, and make it their own. Seeing all the different interpretations. It's fascinating.

There are also memes out there that I really dislike. The main one being In My Mailbox. When I used to surf blogs on Sundays, all I'd see are IMM posts. That is all anyone seems to post on Sundays and this is why I have stopped checking blogs on that day. I find the IMM posts to be people bragging over what Arcs they've got recently. I know it's exciting when you get a new arc, especially if it's a highly anticipated book, but I don't want to read about you bragging about getting it. When I look at those posts, all I see in the comments are "OMG I'm so jealous!!!!!" That to me is...pointless. What is the point in posts in which all anyone is going to tell you is that they are jealous of you? I also do not really care what books you've got this week, I care about what you thought of the books.

Even though there are memes I dislike, for the most part I really do love memes. I just hope that bloggers don't try and do all of them and clog up their blogs. Maybe pick 2 or 3 and have fun with them.

Review: Unraveling

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Published by Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA
$17.99 (US hardback)
445 pages

What it's about:

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.

My thoughts:
At first I was really excited about this book. Girl coming back to life because a cute mysterious boy  brought her back? Awesome! All a synopsis has to say is "cute mysterious boy" and I'll pretty much be excited about the book. I can't get enough of cute mysterious boys.

And I was loving the book. I found it interesting and different. I was constantly guessing what was going on and what in the world Ben was and how did he bring Janelle back to life? But then I hit the point in which all was revealed and was disappointed. I literally went "Oh... Damn." because to me, it wasn't all that interesting and I'm not sure why. It was a cool topic but apparently it wasn't what I was wanting for this book. I found myself not that interested in finishing the book but I did anyways.

I kinda wish I hadn't.

The ending completely ruined the book for me. Completely. Everything that I had liked about this book was completely taken away by how much I disliked the ending. To me, endings are the most important part of a book. The whole beginning of a book can really suck, but if the ending is good, I'll like the book, or the other way around. And because Norris did all 3 of the things that are complete no-nos for endings imo, I ended up disliking this book.

I can honestly see why people are really liking this book because it was interesting and catching, but that ending...damn. I just couldn't hop on board with that.

My rating: 6/10

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Series review: If I stay/Where She Went

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Published by Speak
Genre: YA contemp.
$8.99 (US paperback)
234 pages

What it's about:
A critically acclaimed novel that will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

My thoughts:
I have owned a copy of If I Stay by Gayle Forman for quite a while now but had been avoiding reading it because everyone talked about how hard it made them cry. I know that I'm the kind of person who easily cries during books so I was a little hesitant to read it. Then I decided to go to a book panel that had Gayle Forman on it and then read the book.

Oh my goodness, this book was so good.

This book takes place in a fake town in Oregon and let me just say, Gayle actually understood Oregonians. She nailed us Oregonians. This was exciting for me because so many people write about Oregon and they do not really understand the Pacific Northwest way of life. I asked her about this and she went to college here, so that is why she is in the know. Haha.

This book is so beautiful in every way. The writing is superb. The jumps between the now and then were well done and not awkward and confusing. It flowed nicely. Then there is Mia's family. This has got to be the cutest family ever. They are a really close knit family who are actually believable. The day is an ex rocker and the mom an ex hippie-rocker-groupie who loves to swear. I looovvvveeed these parents. They were so much fun. All the family flashbacks had me crying so hard.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
$8.99 (US paperback)
264 pages

What it's about:

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

My thoughts:
The second book is all about the other people close to the family. How does one handle massive amounts of grief that society doesn't think is theirs to grieve? Adam was very close to Mia and her family and was never able to grieve. This is his story.

While I didn't like this book as much as I liked the first, it was still fantastic.  It takes place three years after the first and is showing how everyone handles (or doesn't handle) the tragedy of the first book. While the first book makes you cry non-stop, this book will break your heart. It's more gut wrenching than anything else.

Over all, I'd say this is definitely a must read series for any YA book connoisseur. It's beautiful, it's heartbreaking, it's amazing.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

About my lack of posting

Hey everyone,

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting much lately. April and May are crazy busy months for me. In May, I have not only my birthday, but my sister's, best friend's, one of my nanny kids, and a few others. Plus this month my sister is getting married so I have the bridal shower, the bachlorette party, the rehearsal dinner, and the actual wedding to go to. I'm also going on a small road trip with one of my friends to Montana for a few days.

Yeah, this month is going to be nuts.

Because of all these scheduled things of mine on top of work and volunteer work, I haven't much free time. This is why I'm not going to be on my blog much this month. I'm trying to write a few posts and scheduling them to post throughout the month.

Hopefully I'll be back and running the blog a lot more often when June hits.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cover Reveal-- Outpost by Ann Aquirre

I read Enclave by Ann Aquirre last year and absolutely loved it. I couldn't be more excited for the next book in the series, Outpost, to be released this September. The cover has finally be revealed!

That cover is amazing! Look at those Freaks trying to get past that really craptastic fence! And ewwwww look how black the Freaks hand is. It practically looks like a glove. Gross.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Just finished reading Insurgent...


I was so excited for this book to be released last night that I pulled a Cartman and paced around the house going "come on....come on!" As seen in this video.

And I read the whole book today.

WOW! Just wow.

I feel like there needs to be a full on discussion of this book and everything that happened in it. If someone knows of a discussion board that is already happening for this book or wants to create one or a chat or something, I'd love to join in.

I still have goosebumps from the ending.